April 4, 2018 PC Minutes

April 11, 2018

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                                       April 4, 2018


Members Present: S. Gregg (Vice-Chair); D. Roy; R. Henry; B. Kerr

Public Present: T. Maxham; M. Taylor-Varney, ZA


Changes to the Agenda

The Commission members tabled agenda items #3 (Con’t. review of Draft Regulations) and #4 (Review proposed maps of village districts).


Public Input

Tim Maxham reminded the Board of the need to schedule a 5th Monday meeting with the DRB and Selectboard, and to better communicate with the public the proposed changes and additions to the Regulations.  Tim felt that the Selectboard had not provided enough input during the process.

Discussion included concerns regarding the proposed changes, including:

  1. Pre-existing, non-conforming lots, especially along the lake, where setback requirements make the approval process more difficult for any proposed development;
  2. Regulations to allow and encourage more density in the proposed village districts;
  3. The ability (or inability) to site wells and septic on small lot. D. Roy recommended the use of community septic systems;
  4. Home businesses and how much they should regulated;
  5. Continued subdivision on private roads that don’t meet Town road standards, and whether they should be regulated.
  6. If a private road does meet Town road standards, should the Town be obligated to take it over?



Final Review and Sign Update updated Planning Commission Rules of Procedure

Corrections and edits were made to the document.  It will be signed at the next PC meeting on April 18.


Review Sign Ordinance Draft

The Commission members reviewed an initial draft of a sign ordinance.  Discussion included neon-type signs in various local businesses (“open”) and digital signs with information that may change frequently, with the suggestion that they be required to be turned off when the business is closed; allowing a waiver from the requirements when compliance is impossible (since this would be an ordinance rather than a zoning regulation, this would need to come from the Selectboard); and reflective signs.  There was additional discussion about parking lot lighting, a sign, and nighttime illumination of the front façade of the Congregational Church on South St.  Review of the ordinance will continue at the April 18 PC meeting.


Meeting Minutes

  1. Kerr moved to accept the minutes from March 7, 2018; D. Roy second. All in favor.


New/Old Business

There was none.


Administrator’s Report

  1. The Commission recommended setting a meeting date with the Selectboard and DRB for May 16, 2018 at 7PM. An agenda item at this meeting will include determining the approval process; whether by Legislative adoption or by a vote of the Town. [Meeting subsequently changed to June 4, 2018 – MTV]
  2. Northwest Vermont Regional Energy Forum scheduled for April 19, 5:30 – 8PM at St. Albans City Hall. For more information, contact Martha.
  3. Vermont Arbor Day Conference, May 3rd, 8:30 – 3:45PM in Montpelier. For more information, contact Martha.
  4. Discussion on “little free libraries” and whether a municipality needs to regulate them. The consensus was no.
  5. NRPC responded to an email from Martha asking if the proposed Keeler Bay village district could extend to the lake. NRPC responded that it could be drawn to replace the Shoreland district in that specific area but would eliminate any particular rules that pertain to the Shoreland district. 


9:00 PM – D. Roy moved to adjourn; R. Henry second.  All in favor.



Signed: ___________________________________________ Date: __________________

                        For the Planning Commission


These minutes are unofficial until accepted at the next regularly-scheduled meeting.  All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.



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